Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tea Time in Canada’s Most English City

Hola Bloggies:

We made it all the way to hump-day bloggies! From here on in it’s full speed into the weekend. This is the last of my two weeks here on Vancouver Island which means by this Sunday I’ll be reunited with the Fiancé and Daisy. Cue the happy dance!

In the meantime I’m doing my best to enjoy some of the things I love most about the Island. Of course, that meant I had to pay a visit to an old favourite of mine – Murchie’s.

Victoria is a city that prides itself not only on its beauty but also on its Englishness. From the double decker buses, to the Empress hotel, and amazing scones, it’s Canada’s most English city. And what could be more English than tea time?

My favourite place to have tea in Victoria is actually somewhat unorthodox in that it has a counter where you order you food. While it may not be the most traditional of settings it results in a decidedly more affordable experience. Since the food and tea are fabulous, I’m game!

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My stand-by order at Murchie’s is a currant scone (served with Devonshire cream and jam) and tea. On this occasion, however, I strayed from the scone way of things and headed straight into the arms of three small French style macaroons (paired with a pot of tea and a sandwich).

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Honestly, the sandwich was nothing short of spectacular. The bread was hearty and fresh and the fillings were delicious. As far as I could gather the fillings included lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, bacon, and an aioli. Simple enough ingredients but somehow they came together wonderfully.

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For those not familiar with a French-style macaroon they bare no resemblance to their coconut based American cousins. A French macaroon is a confection made using egg whites and hazelnut flour. The mixture is then piped and baked before being sandwiched together with a filling of choice.

In my experience it’s nearly impossible to find macaroons in Canada so when I saw these lovelies in Murchie’s, I jumped at the chance to savour them once again (I hadn’t had a macaroon since my sister, who lives in Montreal, gave me some for Christmas). They really were better than I was expecting. Surprisingly, for my lemon loving self, the raspberry one was my favourite.

Before calling it a day I made sure to stop by the adjoining gift shop.

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For a tea drinker this place is basically paradise. Full of a myriad of tea pots, trinkets, china, and of course, tea.

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Somehow I managed to find a bit of self-restraint and bought only a box of Murchie’s Afternoon Blend (my fave!) as a present for the gentleman who often looks after Daisy when we’re away.

On the whole I think it’s safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Murchie’s. In fact it’s one of the places I most look forward to visiting when I’m in Victoria.

 

Question: Are you a coffee or tea drinker?

4 comments:

Anita said...

I love tea with macaroons! The ambience of the place looks so nice too!

AndreaC said...

I love Murchie's. Such a great, casual place to have tea. I also really like the White Heather in Oak Bay for a more traditional 'high tea' experience (although I haven't been since it changed owners). As much as I love my coffee on work days, life ends if there's no tea in the house :)

I thought of you today as I had lunch at Hernandez. Have you ever been there? More tranditional Mexican/Central American food (ie, they make their own taco tortillas) where pretty much all the staff are hispanic (I think they have a token white guy) and love when I try my horrible Spanish on them. It's in a little breezeway mall between Yates and View (St. Andrew's Square, I think?). If you need another place to eat before you leave our fair city, avoid going between 12 and 1:15 because all the business people are there.

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

Although I've never sat down to have tea at Murchie's in Vic, I must say I was in there for the first time ever this past weekend, and I was not impressed with their store. Give me Silk Road any day for tea and tea accessories.

Still need to try macarons. I know there are bakeries in Vancouver that make them...perhaps I shall try and track them down :)

Kelsey said...

me and my mom LOVE MURCHIES! omg i totally cant believe i didnt run into you there! their teas and scones are a-m-a-z-i-n-g <3